Hooniverse Weekend Edition – Get Ready for Classic Toyota Weekend

Do you remember when Toyota made cars and trucks that were different, reliable, sporty, and brimming with personality? The Hilux was rugged and reliable, could haul almost anything you want, get better than good gas mileage, and last almost forever. The FJ Land Cruiser has an enviable reputation for outlasting governments, crossing the Amazon, or being the ride of choice on Safari. The Toyota Celica was a Japanese Mustang that had better reliability, with later models becoming available with turbocharged engines, and all-wheel drive. And there is countless other models that shows how Toyota has lost the playbook when it comes to interesting vehicles.

So stay tuned to see what Classic Toyotas I come across during the Hooniverse Weekend Edition, and if you have a Toyota you want highlighted, send me an e-mail. Let’s see if we can get that “Oh What a Feeling” again.

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17 responses to “Hooniverse Weekend Edition – Get Ready for Classic Toyota Weekend”

  1. ZomBee Racer Avatar


  2. dukeisduke Avatar

    I'm ready, crank up the articles!

  3. M600 Avatar

    Aw man I wish I had a shot of that mint Cressida wagon I saw a month ago around town.

  4.  Avatar
    1. muthalovin Avatar

      Right?!? I mean, seriously, it is a decent enough car, but 30K+?

    1. ptschett Avatar

      Unfortunately, Toyota USA decided that we didn't deserve to get the Hilux here. Since '95 the US market small-pickup has been the Tacoma, and here's the 2011 version… (they're a fine little pickup, but I don't think it's quite up to rest-of-world standards.)
      <img src="http://www.toyota.com/img/vehicles/2011/tacoma/gallery/full/exterior_image4.jpg&quot; width="500"/>

  5. From_a_Buick_6 Avatar

    Bravo. My folks bought a new Corona in 1980, and they've been buying Japanese ever since. They're currently on their third Camry, which will most likely be replaced, eventually, by another Camry.
    In recent years, it's been popular to knock Toyota handling, styling and reliability. Trust me, Toyotas have always been dull, save for some of the hot-rodded coupes. And even in the '80s, the cars were never perfect. My parents' Corona had terminal body cancer after five midwestern winters and a leaky taillight the dealer could never cure. And all their Camrys and my old 4Runner had niggling issues that never affected reliability or drivability, but were enough to drive you up the wall. The styling's always been dowdy and the interiors plastic fantastic.
    But Toyota showed us we didn't have to settle for Vegas and Fairmonts. And after 30 years, Detroit is finally getting a clue and producing comparable products, so we all win.

  6. Stephen Hood Avatar
    Stephen Hood

    I've had a few Toyotas in my day and I've never found them to be particularly good nor bad. They generally started, which was nice, but I never found them to be any more reliable than anything else I've owned. We have a RAV4 in the driveway now, and It is the second Toyota to sit next to a Silverado that I won't part with. The Toyotas come and go, but the Silverado still has a place in the garage. So, I've had an early Corona (forget the year), a mid 80s truck, a '00s Sienna, a 80s Tercel (always started and still in service), and a RAV4. None have inspired greatness but none left me on the side of the road.

  7. tonyola Avatar

    There have been a few Toyota turkeys. For instance, 1973 was a bad year for Coronas. There were problems with insufficient lubrication of the cam and valves in the OHV engines, causing wear and early failure in some cars. Also, it was the first year for the station wagons in the US and the rear and tailgates were extremely rust prone, even by 1973 standards.

    1. Bret Avatar

      My parents bought a 1972 Corona wagon in California. It was a fabulously reliable car that lasted well over 100k miles before the timing chain let go (on my way to take a buddy to the airport). It didn't rust, but the metallic brown paint mutineed after about 10 years.

      1. tonyola Avatar

        Toyotas on either side of 1973 were pretty much reliable. That one year with early emission controls was a bad one for Corona engines. Are you sure that it was a '72, or that it was a Corona wagon and not a Mark II or Corolla? The wagon wasn't offered in the US in the regular Corona line until the 1973 model year.

        1. Bret Avatar

          It was definitely a Corona and not a Mark II. After a bunch of Google-fu, I believe it was actually a '74. That car and I had a ton of adventures… I wouldn't want it back.

  8. Jim-Bob Avatar

    Although I am more of a Datsun/Nissan guy myself, I do respect a lot of Toyota products of the past. Japanese cars used to be quirky and interesting while still providing good value and enviable reliability. They are still well put together today but have lost much of their charming quirkiness with a few exceptions. The most quirky product they offer today is probably the Yaris hatch with it's odd-but-functional dashboard layout and love it or hate it styling. (I would actually buy one if I was more confident in the US economy) The Prius too is a very innovative and unusual product even if it doesn't exactly resonate with enthusiasts. The Corolla and Camry though are about as toaster-like as a car can get and only have reliability to offer as a redeeming quality.
    So, what is my favorite Toyota of the past? Excluding the 2000 GT it would be the TE-27 Corolla Levin. I love subcompact sized cars and the TE-27 has better lines than anything sold that year except for maybe the Datsun 510. Plus, the Levin had a more powerful engine and a few sporty details to distinguish it from the more common models. This is what I find so frustrating about Japanese cars today though. They used to produce interesting stuff and sell it here. They didn't always make toasters on wheels. I will probably drive Japanese cars till the day I die for economic reasons but I wish they would go back to making inexpensive-but-interesting cars like they did in the past.

  9. Joe Dunlap Avatar
    Joe Dunlap

    Im sorry. Ive been around too long I guess. Toyota has built some very reliable cars, as well as some desirable ones. But for me, the words "Toyota" and "Classic" just do not belong in the same sentence, let alone next to each other….
    /this is my lawn, the sidewalk is out there. Now GIT!"

  10. fhrblig Avatar

    I know it's a strange choice for it to be my favorite classic Toyota, but here it is: The fourth generation Corolla. The styling is just so simple and clean, I like it.
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/ms5mc.jpg&quot; alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" />

  11. muthalovin Avatar

    Conversly, I also saw a '87, barely running Supra for $800. That sounded like a steal.